Ghostbusters lives on through comics, video games

2011-03-15 09:19

More than 25 years later the answer to the question “Who ya gonna call?” remains Ghostbusters!

The spectre-busting quartet that debuted in 1984 on movie screens and then was in a sequel and an animated series remains firmly planted in pop culture thanks, in part, to a wide international fan base, a new comic book series and a next-generation video game coming out this month.

“There’d be no Ghostbusters brand if not for the classic comedy that launched it all. It’s incredible that people are still responding more than 25 years later to these great stories and characters,” Mark Kaplan, vice-president of consumer products at Sony Pictures Entertainment, said.

“We love finding ways to expand that experience for the fans, whether it’s through midnight screenings and DVDs or games, comics and toys that really allow audiences to engage with the movie.”

Tom Waltz, an editor at IDW Publishing, which released the first Ghostbusters: Infestation comic last week, called the quartet – Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore – a veritable brand name, one that has drawn fans of film, TV, comics and gaming.

“Movies, video games, the prose novels and obviously the comic books are intertwined and to the point where I think ... you’re trying to create a brand,” Waltz, who wrote the upcoming game, said.

The original movie, titled Ghost Busters on screen, starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis as out-of-work parapsychology professors who set up a ghost removal service and featured Ernie Hudson as their hired gun. It remains one of the top-grossing comedies ever. Its theme song, by Ray Parker Jr, begins with the classic line, “If there’s something strange, in your neighbourhood, who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!”

The new Atari game, Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, is set for release thismonth for Xbox Live Arcade, Sony PlayStation Network and Windows PCs via download at

“In Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, we are introducing an entirely new look and gameplay experience on digital platforms that will impress new and loyal Ghostbusters fans alike,” said Jim Wilson, president and chief executive of Atari Inc.

The upcoming release lets four players take part and play the roles of rookies who have been tapped to save New York from a ghoulish disaster.

Waltz called the four new characters – Alan Crendall, Samuel Hazer, Bridget Gibbons and Gabriel Sitter – not replacements for the original crew, led by Murray as Venkman, but the next generation.

“What I try to do, to a certain degree, is to mirror the four distinct personalities to our original heroes but in a way that the character who is the Venkman of the group would be the last person you’d think is the Venkman of the group,” he said.

He said he also strived to create “characters that are likable enough in their own way with their personalities”, so that “people will accept them”.

Ultimately, he added, the characters in the game could find themselves being written into the comics, too.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.